Effects of Virtual Agent and Object Representation on Experiencing Exhibited Artifacts

Computers & Graphics, Volume 83, page 1--10 - 2019
With the emergence of speech-controlled virtual agents (VAs) in consumer devices such as Amazon's Echo or Apple's HomePod, we have seen a large public interest in related technologies. While most of the current interactive conversational VAs appear in the form of voice-only assistants, other representations showing, for example, a contextually related or generic humanoid body are possible. In our previous work we analyzed the effectiveness of different forms of VAs in the context of a virtual reality (VR) exhibition space. We found positive evidence that agent embodiment induces a higher sense of spatial and social presence. The results also suggest that both embodied and thematically related audio-visual representations of VAs positively affect the overall user experience. We extend this work by further analyzing the effects of the physicality of the agent's environment (i.e., virtual vs. real). The results of the follow-up study indicate some benefits of virtual environments, e.g., regarding user engagement and learning of visual facts. We also evaluate some interaction effects between the representations of the virtual agent and its surrounding and discuss implications on the design of exhibition spaces.

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BibTex references

@Article\{SBS19a,
  author       = "Schmidt, Susanne and Bruder, Gerd and Steinicke, Frank",
  title        = "Effects of Virtual Agent and Object Representation on Experiencing Exhibited Artifacts",
  journal      = "Computers \& Graphics",
  volume       = "83",
  pages        = "1--10",
  year         = "2019",
  url          = "http://basilic.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/Publications/2019/SBS19a"
}

Other publications in the database

» Susanne Schmidt
» Gerd Bruder
» Frank Steinicke